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Canadian cold is quite different. Montreal actually has a lot of stuff underground as the weather can be a killer literally. Don't forget French is the main language and a lot of the culture is french derived
Don't know how reasonable this is with the snow, but if the roads/paths are cleared it's very easy to get around the city by bike. They have the same Boris Bikes you find in London (I think they even started there). I spent a week exploring by bike around the city and waterfront and it was brilliant.
We enjoyed the Science museum on the waterfront. Also enjoyed a duck tour but I'm not sure about that in the snow! Good for foodies, we ate really well there, best of our whole trip, Auberge Bonaparte was our favourite.
yes jan and feb do get cold but if its a sunny day and you are dressed correctly you will be fine! its not a damp cold like we get here in the uk. the city streets will be VERY slushy due to people walking on them all day (st catherine st in particular) so make sure you have waterproof footwear.
also a smoked meat sandwich is a MUST. the city is famous for them. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal-style_smoked_meat
43cms We did actually fly into Montreal on the way back from Florida early January a few years ago, and the amount of snow piled up either side of the runway was scary!
I told dd about the snow, she is sooo excited! I love the look of some of the ice skating venues too, so much nicer than our sterile rectangles. Only thing is that I'm not a very good ice skater and a bit nervous of skating with no walls to grab until I find my feet!
Mount royal looks lovely. Def fancy trying some tobogganing or something.
I think i may have to get some cheap ski type trousers or something to wear!
there will be lots of snow,the city got 43 cm of it last week! id go sliding on mt royal its free and fun to enjoy the snow..ice skating is also an option. montreal has a huge underground city so you can shop without even going outside. make sure to have a poutine will you are there . i grew up there and have been living in the uk with my english partner for 6 years now and I miss home terribly.